DESPITE spiking coronavirus numbers elsewhere in the country, the government is reopening the island of Phuket to fully vaccinated visitors.
Instead of the hotel quarantines required elsewhere in Thailand, tourists on Phuket will be able to roam the entire island, but not travel to other parts of the country for 14 days.
What are the restrictions for tourists visiting Phuket?
Under the sandbox plan, visitors to Phuket will be subject to most of the same controls faced by those to the rest of the country, but instead of being quarantined in a carefully monitored hotel room for 14 days they'll be restricted to Thailands largest island.
Here, they can lounge on the white beaches, jet ski off the coast, and enjoy evenings eating out in restaurants.
To visit, adult foreign visitors must provide proof of two vaccinations, a negative COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure, and proof of an insurance policy that covers treatment for the virus of at least £72,000, among other things. Once on the island, visitors have to follow mask and distancing regulations and take three COVID-19 tests at their own expense about £216 total and show negative results.
They also have to come from countries considered no higher than low or medium risk a list currently including most of Europe, the U.S. and Canada and fly directly to Phuket, though plans are in the works to allow carefully controlled transfers through Bangkok's airport.
After 14 days, visitors are free to travel further in Thailand without other restrictions.
What is it like in Phuket right now?
In preparation, some 70% of the islands approximately 450,000 residents have had at least one vaccine dose, and the hospitality industry reports that all front-line workers in restaurants, hotels and elsewhere have been fully vaccinated.
Bars and clubs remain closed, but visitors will be able to go to restaurants and take in shows once theyre up and running again.
Can I travel directly to Bangkok?
Most travellers to anywhere in Thailand other than Phuket13, including all British nationals travelling from the UK, are required to complete 14 days’ quarantine at a State Quarantine or Alternative State Quarantine (ASQ) facility.
Whilst in ASQ, you will normally not be allowed to leave your room except for medical treatment or COVID-19 tests.
What's the latest travel UK advice for Thailand?
Thailand is currently on the UK's amber list.
That means anyone travelling to England from Thailand will have to take a negative Covid test before return, followed by two PCR tests on day 2 and 8 after arrival.
They will also have to self-isolate at home for ten days after entering the country.
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